Where Did Everyone Go?

It’s been some time now since I’ve seen any new posts, any new comments or even any new gratuitous insults. What happened?

Could it all be a symptom of “lockdown?” How do people spend their locked-down time anyway? The first things occurring to my alleged mind would be eating, drinking and sexing. With none but my own experience to offer, I can say that: (1) I’m not eating very much at the moment, and that mainly soup or extremely soft food, due largely to some extensive (and expensive) oral surgery I’ve recently had, (2) I’ve never been that much of a drinker anyway, even though at the moment I’d rather like a very small glass of my treasured Islay malt, despite it being still somewhat early in the day, and (3) What was that other thing?

Or has everyone on this site been carried off by the dread Coronavirus? Hopefully not! I myself am having nothing to do with COVID-19 and am holding out for COVID-27.

True, there are some – surely not including any Charioteers – who turn to drugs. From bits I’ve seen in the Canadian media, this may be more of an issue up there in the Great White North. But never within these walls!

As for me, I spend far too much time sitting here at my no-longer-new laptop, conveniently situated on a small table facing a rear window that affords me an excellent view of birds mobbing the feeder. Only even they have abandoned me at the moment. First to go were the little birds, leaving only two pairs of chickadees. For a while there were plenty of doves but now they too have flown the coop, as it were.

I occasionally take my beloved canine companions (I’d be lost without them) out for a Terrier Toddle and semi-often run errands, primarily shopping for meat/fish, baked goods and dairy products – those things that my manic gardener wifeperson doesn’t produce at home.

I watch way too much TV, largely documentary programs that I’ve programmed a computer to recordd in the dead of night, when I’m supposed to be asleep.

Sometimes I even think. Yes, yes, hard to believe, I know. Yet sometimes I can’t stop this thing inside my skull from making trouble.

Take, for example, all this current “Black Lives Matter” nonsense. For one thing, they’ve got it wrong. ALL lives presumably being of equal value in some way, a far better slogan would be simply, “LIFE matters.” Is this all a terribly delayed reaction to slavery, even though that has not been part of our society for many years now? My own reaction is: If you don’t like it here, go someplace else! Coronavirus considerations apart, Americans are free to go where they wish. (But how many ever flocked to Liberia?) Peaceful demonstrations are quite in order but should never ever degenerate into riots, with attendant wanton destruction of private property. I’m no great fan of Starbucks but fail to see how they deserve to have their storefronts smashed and interiors trashed. I am appalled to see how many large companies have fallen all over themselves in a rush to pump out volumes of supposedly conciliatory verbiage.

But are all lives really equal? Has anyone stopped to consider that all too many of these alleged “victims” attract the attention of the police because of what they’ve done, not because of what they are? How many media column-inches are ever given to the fact that many of them are not model citizens, unless the view of “model citizens” has somehow changed to include those who have outstanding arrest warrants or who display very good reason to be suspected of one crime or another?

Even so, kneeling on a prisoner’s neck until he expires is altogether unforgivable. Shooting someone in the back, when he can hardly be construed to be a threat, smacks of cowardice. Lying and covering up for one’s associates is just plain wrong. Even though I don’t think much of smartphones (and don’t/won’t own one myself), their proliferation means that now nearly everyone has a camera and that videos thus taken are regularly used to break through the police “club” mentality. Take that to your local Chief Constable, Justice Overlord or whomever and tell him where to put it!

Bazz razz!

33 thoughts on “Where Did Everyone Go?”

  1. G’day CoG!

    How very nice to read a new post – I was beginning to think that I would have to write one myself, perish the thought!

    Within reasonable tolerances, I agree with everything you’ve said, and the way you’ve said it. Quite a feat on your behalf , and top marks to me for admitting it. 😎

    More later – possibly much later. Best wishes to Tina.

  2. Many thanks, Bearsy, for your kind words. Yes, top marks to you indeed and I hope you didn’t strain yourself in earning them.

    I suppose my tolerance of “the sound of silence” may be less than yours, but I simply couldn’t go on much longer without hearing something from somebody. Even my local acquaintances seem to have stopped writing. Things were better when I had cows in the field behind us to look at and talk to (they actually listened to me and I always found their presence soothing in some way) but their owner decided to move them to another field he owns.

    Thanks also for your best wishes to Tina, now duly conveyed. She at least has some local friends whom she sees regularly.

  3. Cheers Bearsy!
    As far as the bloody BLM movement goes. If they want to be treated like human beings it might well be a good start if they tried to behave like humans in the first place. Every time I see a picture in the papers of some malefactor committing a crime, generally a stabbing here or in the UK it seems to be perpetrated by a black or a brown. The nutter shootings appear to be more white fascists. Personally I am so bloody sick of all of them with their wanton destruction I would give the police, and National Guard live bullets and sort it once and for all! The police also need sorting out, murdering people of any colour is frankly not quite the thing!

    Then we could all go home and get on with out gardening. Cog is quite right I have many gardening friends with whom I trade goodies, veg, fruit, ,jellies and condiments. Someone always has an abundance of something you haven’t! I also have a large kitchen where we can socially distance over a bottle or two! So apart from the odd restaurant trip and bunfight not attended, the summer has been very much as normal.

    Bellingham has had the odd few marches for BLM, mainly middle class guilt tripped whites. But they haven’t rioted, Seattle and Portland are the places to be for that. Needless to say all to be avoided like the plague. But as our county is 90% plus white and the rest hispanic we haven’t got any to riot in the first place. I note that the American Indians are not into this at all! My best gardening friend is a Cherokee and she thinks very much as I do. She is related to tribal elders and they are very much going about their business as usual on the reservation.

    Well onwards and upwards, currently I am working on plums, pickling cucumbers and have just finished early pears. (poached in honey and Kirsch) very tasty. It would not surprise me if we have serious civil unrest after the election, whoever wins/loses, feelings are running very high, stoked by the pandemic and the White House. So best be prepared to close the gates, mine the drive and hunker down, we are too old to enjoy such ‘delights’ and that includes the geriatric dogs!
    And ‘stuff and garnish’ the three freezers!

    PS The price of veg are high this year, pandemics, labour shortages courtesy of Trump and a general exodus South of the border, or couldn’t get in in the first place are all to blame. I had to buy one batch of onions this year, waiting for mine, this was the first time I had bought an onion in two years, the bloody things were $1.00 EACH!!!!! for what wasn’t much bigger than a shallot! My heaviest Walla Walla sweet topped out at over two and a half pounds. and all are well over a pound in weight. Comes to something when one can pay the cleaner out of the not expended vegetable bill! Actually all food has gone up considerably here, especially fresh food, such a meat that need people to handle it. So many plant have been closed down due to Covid. Heavens knows how the unemployed are feeding themselves, we are sending a lot to food banks from the community garden but the buggers don’t want to come and help! But definitely many more people have grown vegetable gardens, seeds were virtually sold out round here, but then we are and agricultural neighbourhood.

  4. Thanks for the post, Cog…

    And Christina for your comment.

    I started to write a post- but got a bit bogged down!

    So here’s an up-date on Covid-19 Australia.

    Thanks to some fairly rapid action by the Federal Government this island stopped incomers PDQ. A few slipped through before that happened – but we dealt with it.

    We were severely criticised by WHO and China for closing our borders – who were still claiming that Covid wasn’t that infectious – Hurray for the Convict Mentality that takes a huge dose of salt with all pronouncements by ‘Authorities’.

    So, basically, our lock-down was relatively short, our numbers of infections was small and the total number of deaths was just under 100…

    Then, as far as I’m concerned, the Convict Mentality kicked in again in the State of Victoria – and people refused to ‘isolate’. Aided and abetted, as far as I am concerned, by an idiotic Premier who 1) gave his his ‘mates’ the job of policing quarantine regulations 2) allowed BLM demonstrations to take place, and 3) allowed a certain religious group to celebrate the end of one of their religious festivals with huge gatherings….

    It wasn’t Easter…

    … so you fill the gaps.

    The excuse was that the Government did not organise a ‘proper’ system of knocking on everyone’s door to explain to non-English speakers what they had to do…

    Is it too much to ask that one learns the language of the country in which one has chosen to live? Or that the self-appointed ‘leaders’ of such communities take it upon themselves to make sure that the communities they are supposed to represent know what is required?

    Our internal borders were shut. I’ve often thought that Australia is well over-governed: there are only some 25 million of us and we have so many levels of Government it’s really rather ridiculous.

    But, at the moment, I like it!

    The lock-down in Queensland (where Bearsy and I live) was, relatively, short. We both have ‘Senior’s Cards’ issued by the Queensland Governments – so our super-markets gave us special times for shopping and ‘priority’ for home-deliveries – and by priority I mean next day deliveries.

    Not that I took advantage of that – my daughter and son-in-law did our shopping – since they wouldn’t buy rubbish veggies!

    I did find that my local bottle shop (off-licence for the English) would (and still do) deliver any alcoholic requirement within an hour of receiving an order up to 9 p.m.

    So ‘lock-down’ here in Queensland wasn’t too difficult and it’s all fairly relaxed now. Apart from not being able to travel inter-state or over-seas life is much as it was pre-Covid.

    As to what I’ve done instead of Globe-Trotting – lots of sewing and adding to the family tree.

    I’ve organised my garden – and No Christina – not with lots of veggies! But with lots of flowers – which the damn possums like to eat!

    As for the BLM movement – and the Extinction Rebellion mob – the Vegans – and all the other ‘Woke’ movements – it’s a shame that they have both the time and my money to make such a loud noise and disrupt the lives of people who just want to get on with their lives.

    As far as I’m concerned – All lives matter.

    Here in Oz, we do have a problem with large numbers of our indigenous in prison – but what do you do? Don’t commit the crime and you won’t do the time. Unlike what I, as an outsider, see in America, we don’t have a lot of indigenous people killed by police – but far too many do die in custody.

    I tend to think (and I’m open to any comments to the contrary) that one of the problems the US has is that, despite slavery being abolished well over 100 years ago, America had legalised discrimination until the 1960s and that mind-set has not yet been eradicated.

    I’m absolutely appalled at the way institutions are rewriting history – we need to know the truth about our past so that we don’t repeat it.

    As for the idiots who think they should be compensated for past injustices to their ancestors – I’d willingly pay them to return to their ancestral homes – but would they go? Of course not. Who’s going to pay me for the rights that my ancestors lost when Henry VIII took monastic lands in 1536, or for the Enclosure Acts that forced my ancestors away from their villages into towns to find a living? No one – of course not – and I don’t think anyone should. It was what happened.

    On a lighter note…


    Our food prices have also increased – especially asparagus – imported from Peru and Mexico!

  5. In 1995 I was living in Atlanta. We had had the Rodney King riots. Malcolm X the movie had done the rounds, The Bell Curve controversy was in full swing and Clinton was sharing a cigar or two in the White House with a charming young intern. Atlanta, for those who do not know, is a very segregated city with a substantial black majority. Because of this segregation, MARTA, the mass transit system was not able to extend its rail link into Cobb County because the predominantly white population did not want blacks moving or working there. To them, MARTA stood for ‘Moving Africans Rapidly Through Atlanta. On the occasions when blacks and whites got to cross paths, such as at fairs and festivals there was enough social distancing to have made even Dr Fauci beam. It seemed to me that every man or woman of colour would, at such events, wear a t-shirt with the message, ‘It’s a black thing, you would not understand!’. Discretion being the better part of valour, I never got to wear a t-shirt that said, ‘It’s a white thing, you couldn’t understand!’

    So, despite the fact that it bills itself as the city that is too busy to hate, I had an overwhelming sense that trouble was brewing in terms of race relations and I told my then girlfriend, a young woman from Alabama, that I thought there would be huge divisions right across America which could lead to a some form of break up of the union as it currently exists. I gave it 10 years. She was far more sanguine and said that the US would only get stronger and become more unified. While I was clearly wrong with respect to timing, I still believe that I will eventually be proved right. The hatred and distrust that has built up over the past few decades seems to me to be a state of affairs that can in no way be reversed by the imposition of legal futilities such as ‘hate laws’ and social media censorship. Right across the country, people, who till now have sympathised with various claims of injustice and discrimination, are experiencing the snapping of the bonds of goodwill that for so long have kept them subdued. BLM, Antifa and other hate-driven causes have turned the Titanic good will of the people of America towards the iceberg that may well spell disaster for the country.

    Donald Trump is not a cause of the unrest, inequality and dissent in the US, he is a symptom. The utterly misguided liberal philosophy, the roots of which do not lie in any benign cause, that has been so pervasive since the 1950’s has divided the US into those who do and those who take. Numerically, the takers have the upper hand but the ultimate power can still revert to those who are willing and able to do. And this time, they will be less forgiving. In the meantime, America and through its influence, much of the rest of the western world, has fallen into an unholy mess that has left us all victims to other less civilized nations and cultures. Proclaiming that all people, races, cultures, creeds and genders are equal and deserve equal rights of outcome, is clearly madness and defies not just human nature, but all nature.

    The breeding hordes of Africa, the rabid cause of Islamic fundamentalism and the ruthless expansionism of China will, unless something very violent happens very soon, see the utter destruction of western civilization over the next half a century. Perhaps even sooner.

    I think this article gives some insight into my observations of Atlanta. ‘. https://www.amren.com/commentary/2019/04/the-great-replacement-in-atlanta/

    There you are Cog, that is what I have been doing since Covid hysteria arrived in our fair land.

  6. Boadicea, we do not have a lot here in Zim, but right now my asparagus are beginning to kick in with a vengeance. Too many to eat in the conventional fashion. What I usually do to those I am unable to give away, is to either pickle them or chop them up, cook ’em and put them into the freezer to add to stews, soups and other meals that I may eat throughout the year. My mulberry tree is also heavy with fruit, so much so that large branch has broken under the wright, which is a pity. The mangos are starting to form and the fig tree is budding leaves. Figs arrive at about Christmas time. Leeks, beetroot, fennel and spinach are all being harvested and I have just planted pumpkins. I have only relatively recently discovered the joy of pumpkins. So much food from a single seed. I cut them into 8 pieces, bake for about 20 minutes and then scoop out the flesh also destined for the freezer.

    I am most grateful for the fact that so far, my borehole has held out and is still, as the estate agents say, prolific. There is almost no municipal water in Harare, as a result of zero maintenance rather than an actual shortage of water in the colonial era reservoirs. So increasingly those without boreholes are having to drill or buy water in huge tankers which cause untold damage to our already potholed roads. Of course all of this is leading to a lowering of the water table and even more boreholes running dry. The more forward looking and those with the funds to do so, are investing in water harvesting. We get about 700mm or rain a year, so over a 300 sqm roof one should be able to collect over 200,000 litres a year. It is a very sensible way to proceed, even though it should not be necessary. It is on my to do list.

  7. I’m still standing, as the song goes.

    Had an eventful lock-down. I tore a muscle in my thigh so could hardly walk for a few weeks, and the lack of exercise did not help my waistline. Also, had various, expensive failures of household appliances. from document shredders to laptops and iPhonesr etc.. I hope it all ends soon.

    As regards the anarchy, it seems to me that BLM was started by some well meaning idiots with some valid complaints, and was taken over by evil Marxists who are only intent on violent revolution and do not give a toss about any lives, black or white. The same might be said of Extinction Rebellion (XR) in the UK, except their supposed cause is not even valid.

    Was it Churchill who said, “The next Fascists will claim to be anti-fascists” ? They both represent a real threat to civilised society.

  8. I have had an eventful couple months. Yesterday was, in fact, the first day in months that I’ve actually had something resembled to being settled down. The way it looks, that quiet will continue until at least November when I’ll be hopping and skipping about again. I’ve been to France twice, Denmark, Luxembourg and Germany. It looks like I’ll move to Lubeck next year.

  9. Apart from going through my cookery books for new recipes to try for a bit of variety during lock down, I have been keeping an eye on Nicola Sturgeon and her attempts to use the pandemic to cover up the hash her minority SNP government is making of running Scotland. Every so often I read reports that there is now a majority in favour of Scottish independence and and have a mad desire to race up to Scotland and shout at my fellow Scots. Half the time I think “Let them get on with it and see how they manage”. It is worrying to read how many compatriots are happy to swallow Sturgeon’s utterances that the EU will welcome debt-ridden Scotland with open arms and everything will be rosy. Of course I will have no say in the matter since I no longer live in Scotland and I object to a bunch of Roma living on welfare in Govan deciding the future of the country of my birth. When Sturgeon officially asks permission to hold another referendum, I hope the British government lays down a long list of conditions. She must be made to provide in advance a detailed scheme of exactly what she will do the minute she gets the result she desires, covering everything from currency and lender of last resort to the future of British bases on Scottish soil and paying the Scottish part of the national debt. She must also change the franchise to exclude all the odds and ends she hopes will vote for her and to include those Scots, like me, who actually love our native land and want to see it flourish again. Her pathetic assertion that independence from the rest of the UK will immediately sort everything must be shown for what it is – a myth or rather an untruth.

    Today’s report in the DT that the Shetland Islands council is considering its own referendum on its own independence, unhappy with the fact that all the power and the cash is in the SNP’s grubby paws in Edinburgh, pleased me. Let’s hope that Orkney and the Western Isles feel the same.

    As a postscript can I just assure John Mackie that I would be happy to add him to the list of friends and relatives to whom I expect to have to send food parcels if the SNP thugs get their way by hook or by crook.

  10. Sheona

    Like you, I’ve been keeping an eye on Sturgeon. She really is a single-minded idiot who has no idea of the disaster that she would unleash on her ‘beloved’ Scotland were she to persuade the canny Scots to vote for independence. Where are all the canny Scots?

    She’s done a great job – convincing many Scots to believe that Scotland is subsidising the UK and that the EU will, over-night, welcome a country with a debt of 7% of its GDP.

    Even if the application is accepted it will take several years to go through all the various procedures – and how does Scotland survive in the meantime?

    She clearly hasn’t told anyone that Spain has already said that it would veto a Scottish application (they have their own separatist movements); announced how Scotland will settle its debts to the Rest of the UK (other than to say they will renege on them) or explained what currency will be legal tender – other than to complain that the Bank of England, i.e. RUK taxpayer will no longer underwrite Scotland’s future spending and borrowing.

    As you say, there are lots of odd bits and pieces that I don’t know about – but they all need dealing with on the basis that an Independent Scotland must pay its own way and stand on its own rather wobbly legs!

    Frankly, I don’t think Boris will give way on another referendum – although I did read that were he to do so he would insist that Scots, like you, should be given a say.

    I, too, read the report about the Shetlands seeking independence from Scotland and becoming a Crown Dependency like the Isle of Man, Jersey, et al. and chuckled! They, clearly, have no faith in Nikki.

  11. Just read in the dreaded daily Mail, that anyone refusing to wear masks in East Java is made to dig graves for Covid victims as a punishment!
    Love it! Absolutely love it!
    I note that pictures of the UK show very few people wearing masks, people should use them more, certainly cuts the rate of transfer very quickly indeed. It has done very well here in WA. We all wear them all the time when out.
    Now, of course we have the smoke instead, absolutely dreadful, house hermetically sealed with filters running their guts out. No walkies for the dogs, fast in and out to ‘do the business’ and scarper back to their beds!
    AND forget the gardening!!
    Thank God for Britbox.

  12. CO: Face nappies don’t make that much of a difference when in public. They can, potentially, help a little in enclosed public spaces such as trains, shops, etc. but in open air, not so much. There is a widespread requirement to wear them in, say, France and Spain but infections are growing at ten times the rate in those countries than in countries where they’re not required — Sweden and Norway. In Germany they’re required in enclosed spaces, but not in open air. I, for one, refuse to wear them preferring silk scarves. Face nappies were exasperating my long-standing sinus issues and I’m closer to becoming asthmatic as a result so I’m hostile to them as a rule. A face covering is fine. In fact, I’d be quite happy if more people rarely left their houses and wore burkas those times they did but there are a number of factors that are important. That is, not crowding together, washing regularly and not getting too close to other people.

  13. Christina: I carry a mask in my handbag – but have yet to wear it…

    … Queensland has had 1,149 cases and 6 deaths in a population of just over 5 m so far. Not bad.

    Life is pretty normal, apart from the fact that I can’t travel interstate or overseas. I’m not happy about that – since there are still many places I want to go – but C’est la vie.

    I’m delighted that most people here are observing ‘social distancing’ and I no longer have to ask people who crowd me whether they ‘would jump in my grave so fast’. I hate crowds.

    We have a State election next month and I might well break the habit of a life-time and vote for the present Premier (Labor) who has steadfastly kept our borders shut. When I look at the State of Victoria and see what a slip-shod approach to dealing with Covid-19 has produced – I’m delighted (for the first time) that we have a Federal system here.

    I had to look up what Britbox was – sounds good. Keep Watching…

  14. Boadicea: Scotland’s deficit is 7pc of GDP. As it isn’t a sovereign state, its national debt is not really known although it would, by rights, inherit a per capita share of the UK’s national debt adjusted for income. As Scotland is one of the dearer parts of the UK and its incomes are higher than in many parts of England, certainly higher than Wales and Ulster, it would find that it would not get out of the union Scot free (no pun intended). As it stands, the UK’s real national debt is £4.8 trillion, or £78,000 per capita. This includes unfunded future liabilities. Scotland would have to contend with probably at least £42,000 debt per person when adjustments are made — for current debt. As I am again resident in the EU core — the greater Luxembourg region — I’ve had the opportunity to discuss the issues with well-informed people from Germany, Luxembourg and France. EU membership, whilst certainly a distinct possibility, would be contingent on a lot of factors. Scotland would not receive any opt-outs. That means that Scotland would, unique in the British Isles, be a Schengen country. They would have hard borders with England and Ireland. They would not be given a special trading relationship with Wales, England or Ulster. As over 80pc of Scottish trade is with the rest of the UK, they’d be well buggered. They would also find that they would be obliged to join the eurozone at some point. Realistically speaking, they’d have to use some sort of Scots pound tied to the euro via ERM-II. Until that point, they’d be a debt-ridden country with a massive budget deficit. Since the SNP are adamant that Scotland return to the status quo ante 1707, it would not be a stretch, then, to accept that Edinburgh will once again become the Athens of the north — but, should that be the case, it wouldn’t carry as much cachet as it did then. Scotland would similarly have to meet all convergence criteria. All the opt outs that it enjoyed to that point would be gone. The expectation is that it would be warmly welcomed back into the embrace of the EU. The reality is that Warsaw, Bucharest, Sofia, Bratislava, Budapest, Lisbon and Madrid would resent it for being another economically dependent country competing for a smaller pool of funds. Stockholm, Copenhagen, Den Haag, Vienna and Helsinki would resent having to support yet another country.

  15. Christina, it is not often that I find myself disagreeing with you, but this whole Covid thing is an utter nonsense and so are the monstrous conditions that have been imposed upon us. Bollox to lockdowns, quarantining, face masks and social distancing. This is a virus like many others that have gone before and which will follow after. It worse than some but not as bad as others and nothing like as dangerous as is being touted by those who seek political capital from the affair.

    I am genuinely stunned and horrified by the number of who I thought to be sensible people who have bought into the propaganda that is being broadcast by governments with more authority than they possibly deserve. Had we never been told about Covid 19, we would never have noticed its effects, which to put it bluntly, are minimal.

    In support of my argument, I am posting this video which explains it all very ably indeed. In a few years from now the rest of the world will ask what were we thinking and how did we manage to surrender so many of our freedoms, not to mention our wealth and mental wellbeing to such a pointless cause. I am asking those questions now, except it is a ‘they’ rather than a ‘we’.

  16. Sipu: One of the reasons why I chose to hunker down in Germany is that life is largely normal here. I can pop over to Luxembourg, Sweden, etc. without facing serious challenges. When there are restrictions, they’re logically written and easy to understand. I don’t always like them — but they’re written in such a way that they’re not petty. For example, I refuse to wear face nappies. I can, however, get away with wearing a silk scarf or a bandanna. I don’t fight directly, but I dissent in subtle ways. Getting yelled at by power-drunk security guards or getting thrown off trains by the BuPo or shops by stressed staff are not things that appeal to me. Seeing what happened in, to, the UK horrified me. Had I been gone for many years and returned, the shock would not have been so great. Within weeks, I was no longer able to recognise the country and I was there. The rules in Britain are capricious, petty and nonsensical. Between the wrecked economy, the spiralling cost of living and the inability to have even a semblance of normalcy, I accepted things as they were and found a place in Trier that suited. Small, but sunny, airy, convenient and, best of all, cheap. I recently read Anna Funder’s “Stasiland”. I wasn’t sure if I was reading about life in East Germany or about life during the Great Bat ‘Flu Meltdown.

  17. Sipu: I’ve agreed with nearly everything you’ve had to say in the past but find myself surprised, to say the least, by what you’re now saying on the Coronavirus matter.

    One must always consider one’s sources carefully, and I have not found that this Ivor Cummins person is the sort of medical and scientific expert that would qualify him to speak in more than statistical terms. As we should all know by now, a skilled statistician who has some axe to grind can, if he wishes, make numbers stand up and dance to suit his personal agenda.

    COVID-19 is not just another virus; it is a potentially deadly one. Even “regular” annual flu can be bad enough, as we found a few years back when we both came down with it and were laid up for a good two months. The numbers alone (especially the deaths) should tell us how serious it is. Let’s also face the fact that we’re not getting any younger. Do we really need to wait until we match the numbers of the 1918 “Spanish” flu to do something – anything – that might possibly help us avoid being infected?

    We must consider that transmission of COVID-19 is airborne, most typically via droplets that even the most fastidious of us may expel when speaking or even just breathing. Although the wearing of a mask may not significantly reduce the wearer’s chances of contracting the disease, it does materially reduce the danger of spreading to others whatever we ourselves may or may not be carrying. Similarly, maintaining six feet of separation between individuals gives such droplets a chance to settle out of the air. Neither approach is perfect, but far better than nothing at all.

    We in this household keep ourselves to ourselves, admitting only those others whom we know to be as careful as we and taking advantage of our large kitchen to maintain approximately twelve feet of distance between them and us. Back and front doors are both kept open for the duration, with the resulting through breeze “flushing” the house of any noxious elements. If you want to call that “self-quarantining,” then so be it.

    “Lockdowns” are another matter and chiefly reflect the desire of Governments at various levels and in various places to be *seen* to be doing something – a clear example of politicians not deferring to scientists in areas beyond their own fields of presumed expertise. I remain philosophically opposed to “lockdowns” but then, I very much regret to say, the great unwashed masses can hardly be relied upon to make the right choices entirely on their own, can they?

    To you, Sipu, and to all other Charioteers, I wish good health and long life.

    Not least, I’m almighty glad to see that all of you are still alive and at least well enough to write a few lines. Thank you for your reassurance!

  18. Many thanks CoG – you’ve saved me much time and effort and fast-fading brain power with your erudite response to Sipu. Perhaps I can just add a quote (which I thought was attributed to Disraeli, but apparently not)

    ” . . . there are lies, damn lies and statistics.” 😎

  19. Cog, we will have to agree to disagree. Time may tell who is right, though it will depend on who controls the narrative. We all know, to our cost, that history can be rewritten at the whim of media titans, degenerate politicians, if you will excuse the tautology, and/or celebrity ideologues. But as Deep Throat once said, ‘follow the money’.

    I do, however, take great comfort from the fact that Bearsy supports your view in this matter. Over the past decade or more, he and I have never agreed on a single matter as far as I can recall. Since I have nearly always been right and he, rather surprisingly for a Bear of some apparent brain, has almost always been wrong, I shall use that as further statistical evidence to support my case.

    Statistics aside, Benjamin Disraeli is a man worth studying, I believe. I have only dipped my toe into the subject, but I deem his influence, not all of it benign by any means, persists today.

    Anyway, I am glad you and ‘er indoors are bearing up. And that goes to all other Charioteers. Incidentally, I wonder if the original Boadicea would have ‘socially distanced’ from her daughters as she swept across the battle field. Perhaps her famed monument should be torn down in line with modern ideological thinking.

    Let me leave you with another quote, attributed to FDR but coined by another, or even others. “We have nothing to fear but fear itself”.

  20. Sipu:

    I did try to listen to the man, I really did!

    But he droned on and on about the minuscule number of ‘extra’ deaths that corona virus has (according to him) caused and, while he may have got to the point I am most concerned about later on, I really couldn’t be bothered to hear him out to the bitter end.

    Frankly I dispute his use of the statistics. Using figures from countries that have few deaths with those from the U.S and Europe is misleading. Before Victoria added some 600+ deaths to Oz’s death-rate we had just under 100 deaths.

    What was the difference? Quite bluntly too many people in high population density areas refused to be ‘lock-down.’ Even medieval Europe knew about quarantine and the use of masks.

    But that is not the point. This is not only about dying – but it’s about contracting the disease. And many, many more people are contracting Corona than fall prey to the normal ‘flu’.

    At the start of this pandemic no one knew how virulent, how infectious or deadly it was. Most Governments around the world sought to protect all their citizens (not just the young and able) – and did the best they could with the best advice they could find and to the best of their abilities. And they sought to stagger the infections so that their medical services could cope with a worse-case scenario.

    We have no idea just how many people might have died or contracted the virus had Governments just let the outbreak run its course. And especially concerning is the emerging evidence that this particular virus is not like influenza – but can leave lasting and permanent damage.

    I couldn’t listen to the man any longer. Being wise after the event is not wisdom – I have a great deal of sympathy with those who were responsible for dealing with this new ‘flu’. So I’m not prepared to condemn them.

    I’ll join with Cog and add my pleasure ‘that all of you are still alive and at least well enough to write a few lines. ‘

  21. Sipu:

    I’m sure the time will come when the famed monument will be pulled down… I’m quite sure that the woke snowflakes will find some excuse – maybe because she was, quite obviously, a Brexiteer … and wasn’t prepared to subjugate Britain (or at last her part of it) under the Rule of Rome.

  22. Boadicea, I hope you will forgive me for saying that having attempted and having failed miserably to make some sense of the history of 13th century taxation in England I find it ironical that the foremost authority on the subject should struggle to persevere with this video which is surely a mere amusement in comparison. But I acknowledge it is quite hard work which others have described as a cure for insomnia. Nevertheless, I think the points he makes are valid. But I will leave it at that.

    This is an entirely different video, with nary a statistic in sight. The presenter, Rachel Elnaugh, is a successful business woman who has declared war on what she sees as a deliberate attempt to terrify society and thereby curtail our freedoms in order to allow the powers that be to control our future. Its a tactic, she says that was, according to Goebbels, used by Himm Hitler and the Nasties (respect to William Brown) and very effective it was too. Worth watching.

  23. Ref the above video, God, I actually listened to it all, woke nonsense mostly.

    Previous attempts at widespread domination of populations seem to have gone drastically awry.
    Guillotines, ropes and lamp posts come to mind, all seemed to somewhat interrupt the plans of yesteryear.
    Hitler’s bunker end was a superb success at domination wasn’t it? As was a life on St Helena.

    The only thing I might agree with is dodge the covid shot, might well be under tested and cause more harm than it potentially cures. One doubts the nano tracking strips. People are far more likely to be tracked via their damnable cell phones.

    It has always amused me that the rich feel they will be able to escape any ghastly happening and event that buggers up the world, when there is no escape, just an extension of the agony . Ask the dinosaurs! Just imagine TRex thinking he could eat still, scrabbling around for a vole or two instead of a triceratops! Sometimes an early demise is a soft option.

  24. Hats off to my dear wifeperson for her persistence. I couldn’t take more than about 20 minutes of that stuff.

    Like her, I’m not going to push to be one of the first to receive the anti-COVID-19 vaccine. The whole vaccine issue has become far too politicized, with The Only President We’ve Got seeming to consider it the key to re-election, possibly justifying his refusal to wear a mask in public. I myself think it better to hang back a bit and see what side effects the early recipients may or may not develop. Heck, I’m not about to inject disinfectant or drink bleach either. Also, with presumably differing vaccines being developed by different parties, it’s possible that one may turn out to be better in some way than the rest. I think we’ll just continue to keep the gates locked and the drawbridge raised until WE are satisfied.

    Again like her, I can under the right circumstances be a great believer in lamp posts as a political instrument. Saying of which: Who other than The Only President We’ve Got was given to making “pouty” faces when speechifying? Clues: Surname beginning with “M” and met his end dangling from a lamp post.

  25. Sipu:

    I had no problem with understanding the video – I just don’t like being lectured for some 37 minutes by someone who a) repeats the same thing over and again in different words and b) has determined beforehand what he wants to prove and uses only those facts that support his theory and ignores everything else.

    I got an extremely good degree in some 18 months by not going to lectures and doing my own research. Fortunately, I come from an era when we were taught to play Devils’ Advocate to our most cherished beliefs, were encouraged to get all the facts available before opening our mouths, and were prepared to change our opinions in the light of new knowledge. Shame that so few of the present ‘woke generation’ weren’t taught the same.

    I haven’t watched the other videos… thanks Christina for alerting me!

  26. Hi Boadicea, my apologies, I did not mean to suggest that you did not understand the first video, it was more a question of my being surprised that you were put off by the dryness of the content. Given your background and the nature of your area of expertise, which I am sure you will admit is not exactly the most stimulating of subjects to the lay reader, I would have thought that you would have breezed through this. I was simply amused by your comment.

    As for Christina’s remarks on the last video I posted, (the earlier one was posted in error, though still interesting.) I think that she may have misapplied the description ‘woke’. Neither video is remotely woke, by my understanding of the word. There may certainly be an element of ‘conspiracy theory’ in them, but just because a theory has not been proved, it does not mean there is no substance to it.

    Very simply, the presenter is warning of a climate of fear that is being deliberately created which presents a huge threat to our freedoms. In this case I think she is absolutely right, though she may have over egged the pudding in certain areas.

  27. Sipu – believe me – 14th C taxation is a far more stimulating subject than you might think… it all depends on the presenter!

    As for ‘conspiracy’ theories – some are just too ridiculous. As I said elsewhere, I was quite willing to relinquish some of my freedoms to get the virus under control – but you’ll find me marching with a banner should any government try to restrict those freedoms when it is time to do so.

  28. Boadicea: Some of those conspiracy theories are comic gold, however. Politicians are, by and large, dim and fragile. To pull of some grand conspiracy requires tens of thousands, if not more, people and it requires everyone to keep their mouths shut, egos in check and to remain on the same page. That’s virtually impossible. As irked as I am by the present situation (I’ve been utterly ruined by this pandemic) the growth of conspiracy theories, the mushrooming of blatant dishonesty by many and willingness to resort to violence by both sides of an ever-deepening divide terrifies me. When people are willing to riot based on nothing but a false premise…

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